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Uncovering the Prenatal Abnormalities of Urinary System

During pregnancy, many questions about the health of the child come to the mind of parents. The effort is always to give birth to a healthy kid for the futuristic health of the baby and the mother. This is why ultrasound examinations are often performed on the mother to know about the developmental state of the fetus. This is considered to be prenatal care and is a crucial process. With the help of prenatal care, it becomes easy for doctors to study internal organs and the health condition of the fetus. These tests also determine if any treatment is needed or not and how the abnormalities are going to affect the baby’s health in the future. In this blog, we will study the prenatal abnormalities in the urinary system.

The deformities in the urinary system are said to fall under the frequent types of abnormalities found in the fetus. About 20% of all the birth-related defects are solely connected with kidneys and urinary abnormalities. The reason to be blamed for these deformities is the environmental factors such as diabetes of mother and other genetic factors. All these factors result in the interruption of nephrogenesis. Some abnormalities ask for the interruption of pregnancy that can harm the health of the mother as well while others can be taken care of once the child is born.

Anomalies of the urinary system

The inborn abnormalities of the urinary tract are inclusive of varied disease that is the result of an abnormality in the morphogenesis of the system. These abnormalities might result in the obstructive or non-obstructive prolongation of UT that can further affect the position, size, or number of kidneys. The chances of these abnormalities are higher in males in comparison to that of females.

Embryology

The development of the urinary system and kidneys takes place in the intermediate mesoderm. During pregnancy, a huge difference can be seen in the growth of collector tubes. The full development of the urinary tract is done in this time (intermediate mesoderm) and later the evolvement can be seen in three different stages, pronephros, mesonephros, and metanephros. When the stage of pronephros is done, mesonephros begins. In this stage, the mesonephric duct produces ureteral bud which leads to the formation of body organs like the ureter, collector tubes, and pelvis of kidneys. In this time, if anything wrong happens then it results in the total or partial dearth of kidneys and other abnormalities in the urinary tract. These abnormalities are named as:

  • Complete bilateral renal agenesis
  • Unilateral renal agenesis
  • Renal aplasia
  • Supernumerary kidney
  • Renal hypoplasia
  • Kidney hyperplasia
  • Lobular kidney
  • Kidney fusion
  • Horseshoe kidney
  • Ectopic kidney
  • Renal dystopia

These abnormalities are classified on the basis of number, size, and position.

Impact of abnormalities on child

It is not always important that the abnormalities put an impact on the child after birth but in many cases, the impact can be fatal. Most cases can be resolved easily while others may need some care and preventions. Prior to the birth of the baby, the placenta of the mother does all the work of the kidneys due to which all the abnormalities related to the urinary tract of the child develop prior delivery. There are certain conditions that affect the functioning of the kidneys of the baby after birth and also exert some issues in body growth. For instance, if there is any severe blockage in the flow of the urine then the developing kidneys of the baby might get affected and it may also lead to the poor functioning post-birth. Also, if the problem lies in both the kidneys then the urine flow would be equal to none. This would result in the lack of amniotic fluid around the fetus which would ultimately affect the lungs of the baby.

Treating the condition

When it comes to the treatment of the condition, the baby is examined properly and further tests are done to know more about his or her condition. The blood pressure of the baby is taken into consideration and ultrasound of the kidneys and the bladder is done. This helps the doctor to take a closer look at the organ. The voiding cystourethrogram is a test performed on the babies. In this test, the bladder of the child is filled with the X-Ray dye with the help of a catheter which is inserted in the bladder through the urethra. With every process of urination, X-rays are taken. This process helps in a clear examination and also tells if there is any possibility of reflux or not. In addition, babies with hydronephrosis are examined with renal scan. A small amount of tracer is put into the vein which is radioactive in nature. Later, the tracer is expelled in the kidneys, and the time is taken to expel it helps in the determination of kidneys functioning.

Moreover, the treatment in Ayurveda is done with the help of some herbal medicines that can help in pacifying the complications and pain.

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